Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Writer's Block

15 October 2008, 7:47 AM

I can feel the banks rising
against this block, brick by brick
damming the mind-flow. Soon
the pond will spill over, or my pen
will explode. Thoughts
become concentrated, like estrogen
in my blood. There is no escape
from the contents of my veins, no running
from the alphabetic pool as my cotton shirt
billows out in watery folds; my jeans
bloat, heavy with drink.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bone Conduction Hearing

My husband is completely deaf in his left ear. Strange and insensitive as this may seem, sometimes I forget this fact. Of course, he can't forget. This is a reality he lives with every minute of every day of his life.

He has an implant from 20 years ago which allowed him to wear a bone-conduction hearing aid, but the technology is so out of date, that implant is now obsolete. But he went to a specialist this week who tested his hearing and took a look at his ear. There's new technology available, and while it requires another surgery, the invasion factor is minimal, and within 4 or 5 months, he could be hearing normally with the help of a BAHA bone conduction device. I'm very excited for him, and I'm amazed by the ways technology is able to help people overcome irreversible handicaps like my husband's.

Read more about my husband's experience and the BAHA device here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Beauty of Ashes

I've updated the website where I post my artwork, Have a look.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Main & Maple

I went to the Main & Maple Cafe in Nicholasville on a lark today while I was there on business. I thought to myself as I walked in that it would be nice to run into someone I know, since I don't make it to Nicholasville very often these days.

I ran into six someones, as a matter of fact. Five of them I haven't really seen much of for about five years, and one I haven't seen at all for at least eight. What surprised me is that, although my relationships with these people were all during the pre-divorce era of my life, it was an absolute pleasure to talk with each of them, and to let them know what's been going on in my life. I find lately that there's just about nothing that can't be transformed and redeemed in time.

Barbara, Dottie, Mary, Dexter, Scott and Cody, it was really great to see you again today.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

The Man Who Was Thursday

This book by G.K. Chesterton really is tremendous. I'm not sure if I got it the first time around, or the second, or the third, even with the very competent help of my Western Classics professor, Dr. Strait.

However, I finished rereading it just yesterday, and it became so very obvious to me what it was that Chesterton was getting at-- that God is so very big that one rarely gets a full view of Him, and most times what one sees most clearly is the back of Him, which is to say we see Him indirectly, through nature and through human relationships. And sometimes that reality is so difficult to look at, so suffused with suffering and pain, that we begin to believe that's all there is, and goodness must be an illusion.

But at the same time, when we do finally get around to the Front, and we look into the face of God, He is so very good, so very loving, so wonderfully beyond any dream we could have created in our finite minds, that the evil that exists in the world comes to the point of seeming, just for a moment, illusory, or like a cruel game that we have no choice but to watch play out before our eyes.

The difficulty is that both the Good and the Evil are very real and very present. Somewhere in our gut, we know this, and in our desperate attempts to work against the Evil, we often end up fighting each other, seeing devils everywhere, and nowhere. We find when we get right down to Reality, though, that God is not only at the beginning, commissioning and exhorting us to fight whatever evil we can, whensoever we can, by whatever means we can, but He is also in the middle of it, and cannot be ravaged by it as we are. And so He can lead us on through it, by whatever magnificent or ridiculous path He chooses, out the other side, further up and further in to His Goodness which is Paradise.

I found myself on the point of tears listening as Syme, the hero, says, "When I see the horrible back, I am sure the noble face is but a mask. When I see the face but for an instant, I know the back is only a jest. Bad is so bad that we cannot but think good an accident; good is so good that we feel certain that evil could be explained... Shall I tell you the secret of the whole world? It is that we have only known the back of the world. We see everything from behind, and it looks brutal. That is not a tree, but the back of a tree. That is not a cloud, but the back of a cloud. Cannot you see that everything is stooping and hiding a face? If we could only get round in front--"

Dear God, yes. If we could only get around front.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Candles

2 October 2008, 11:00 AM

The candles always meant so much,
lining the walls and lit by my hand
before the others arrived, one for every icon,
pieces of sanity amid chaos--Life Givers.

The icons, the incense, and from day one,
the faces and their unlikely
welcome of one who should have been a thorn
by definition. The people were Christ to me,
have always been, will always be. They welcome

now another thorn. I lit a candle one last time,
prayed they'll love him well, remain
who they've been for me.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Sarah "Joe Six-Pack" Palin

Make it stop.


I've read a couple of articles this week which say that Sarah Palin is getting a lot of unfair flack from a series of severly unfortunate interviews which pretty much confirm that she has rarely given a single thought to any political issue which falls outside of the jurisdiction of the Great State of Alaska. They say that Joe Biden has flown safely under the radar recently, because of Palin's very bad, very loud press, but that he is just as prone to political blunders in interviews as she is. This video from warns that Joe Biden has a fine line to walk with Sarah Palin in tonight's debate, and that the American public should not underestimate Palin's debates skills, nor her odds of coming out on top.

To compare Sarah Palin's blunders of galactic political ignorance with Joe Biden's lack of verbal filters seems a bit ridiculous to me.

First of all, I've seen a few of what the press dubs some of Joe Biden's biggest gaffes. The comment about his opponent's wife was entirely uncalled for. He should know better, I don't care if he was kidding. But the other "gaffes" in the video above don't strike me as such at all. The first, his one-word answer to a question regarding criticism he has received about his tendency toward verbosely putting his foot in his mouth, was clever and funny, and there was really no other way for him to answer without doing exactly what detractors say he is prone to do. The second, "Some things are worth losing an election over..." strikes me as a statement of conviction that any politician should hold to, and that doesn't strike me as politically incorrect or blundersome. It strikes me as a sign that although he can be very brash, he has some notion of integrity of which he is not ashamed.

On the other side of the fence, I have no doubt that, when informed on the issues, Sarah Palin is a formidable opponent. However, I have seen no evidence whatsoever that she has ever given enough thought to national politics or foreign affairs to be able to hold a firmly grounded opinion *of her own* on any of the very pressing issues involved in this year's election. NO EVIDENCE. They can coach her and she can cram all the information into her head that will possibly fit in a few months' time, but that cramming and coaching will not make up for the fact that she has been fundamentally ignorant of history, politics and political issues up until the point that she was asked to be McCain's running mate. In my opinion, she had no business accepting the nomination.

I'm not a democrat. For that matter, I'm not a republican. But while I had been seriously considering the 3rd party tickets, and still am, I'm almost frightened to contribute to the 3rd Party Phenomenon if it means that I'll be taking votes away from Obama, and thus helping to give the election to McCain and Palin. This "[Jo] Six-Pack" has *serious* reservations about contributing to putting her, and the man who's judgment saw fit to choose her, in office.

George MacDonald

"Home is ever so far away in the palm of your hand, and how to get there it is of no use to tell you. But you will get there; you must get there; you have to get there. Everybody who is not at home, has to go home."

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